LIFE IS BREATH . BREATH IS LIFE
central role of the breath is strange and mystical to the twentieth-century
Western mind. Indian yogis believe that we partake of the energy, or essence, of
life through breathing. In fact, they feel that our lives are pre measured by a
certain number of breathe, and each one taken brings us closer to the end of our
meditation, posture is the key. If the posture is good, good breathing will
follow and we shall experience once again what we knew as a baby. It is useful,
however, to discuss certain methods, techniques and mechanics of breathing.
most of us breath too often and too shallowly. Hence, the foul air in the lower
pan of our lungs is not fully expelled. Conversely, on intake our lungs are not
filled up much beyond the upper third of their actual volume, so that we are not
using more than a fraction of our vital capacity. The process of oxygen exchange
in our bloodstream is therefore inefficient. The blood is improperly cleansed of
carbon dioxide and our brains and nervous systems are not fully oxygenated. The
deleterious effects manifest themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.
average person at rest completes fifteen to eighteen breathing cycles per
minute, a cycle being one inhalation plus one exhalation. Although this feels
natural and comfortable, it is actually too fast for the purpose of Shaolin
meditation. When you're in a zazen position, you must let your breath "sit"
also. An experienced practitioner can breath quite effectively at five cycles
per minute, some even fewer. Quite a difference!
should be slow, regular and controlled. The active part of the breath, the
exhalation, should be twice as long as the inhalation. This is to make sure that
the lungs are emptied of all foul air. If they are emptied, the body
automatically begins the next inhalation. Breathing should be silent, using the
nose only. The jaw is relaxed. The mouth is closed. The tongue is held lightly
between the teeth, touching the upper palate, which helps slow the accumulation
of saliva in the mouth.
Basically, the chest should
be relatively stationary when we breath. Everything is directed to moving the
breath down to the tanden (a vital point beneath the nard). In Shaolin kungfu, tanden is the source of power. When an experienced
Kienando is about to break a
brick or a stone , you may see them reach inside their gi to clutch at the
tanden, to see that it is firm and full of breath and spirit. This is the source
of real power, both mental and physical.
When you are breathing out,
you are strong - you can break a board, you can absorb a blow and not be hurt.
When you are inhaling, you are weak.
In karate, you often hear
students give a loud shout (kiai) when executing a kick or a punch. The student
is training to time the execution of the technique with the exhalation. This
maximizes the power applied. The shout encourages and facilitates the forceful
and complete exhalation of air. So this is simply the application of the
principles of proper breathing in action.
Kienando dojo, each class session ends with a short period of meditation.
It used to ease the mind from our busy life activities, as well as to reflect on what was covered in class and what
needs to be studied. Sitting on the floor in an afsa position, the instructor
will call out:
Close your eyes!
eyes close, you should try to relax and slow your breathing, making it
deeper and more controlled. Empty your mind of all the day's tensions and
anxieties. For about 15 minutes, you get to forget all your troubles.
After the short meditation, you will hear:
you'll automatically open your eye .
interest of Kienando students in meditation is not in any religious doctrine,
history, ritual, or liturgy. kienando students are neither expected nor
encouraged to embrace any particular religious belief. However, meditation has
something to offer every Kienando students, regardless of personal religious beliefs
or cultural background. When you sit, the major factor the alignment of your
body the alignment of the spinal column. That is, the spine should be allowed to
stretch freely along its length, thereby ensuring The physical training in
Kienando is strenuous, emphasizing progressive development of strength,
flexibility, and aerobic capacity. One of the goals of kienando training is to
develop strong bodies, which contributes to health and a general sense of
self-confidence and well-being. In addition to developing students with the
highest level of physical skills, Kienando aims to develop individuals of the
highest moral character, individuals who can then make significant contributions
to a better life in the family, the work place, and in society .This goal is
achieved by the integration of Shaolin meditation into the practice of each and